Coca-Cola Earnings: What to Watch

By Jennifer Maloney Features Dow Jones Newswires

Coca-Cola Co. is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings before the market opens Wednesday. Here's what you need to know:

Continue Reading Below

EARNINGS FORECAST: Earnings per share of 49 cents is the consensus of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, the same figure as a year earlier.

REVENUE FORECAST: Analysts expect revenue of $8.72 billion, compared with $10.63 billion a year earlier. The drop reflects the divestiture of bottling operations.

WHAT TO WATCH:

C-STORE SLOWDOWN: Rival PepsiCo, which reported third-quarter results earlier this month, reported a drop in North America soda sales in part because of weak convenience-store sales. Analysts will be watching to see how the convenience-store trend affects Coke's North America unit.

ZERO SUGAR: The company rolled out Coke Zero Sugar in the U.S. during the quarter with a big marketing splash, hoping to offset the long slide in volumes of diet and regular colas with a new soda replacing Coke Zero. Nielsen data suggest sales growth slowed in the quarter in North America, analysts say, though the company has boosted revenue in the region with smaller packaging and a shift to profit-sharing with bottlers.

Continue Reading Below

NORTH AMERICA CHIEF: Analysts will also be listening for more details on the mandate CEO James Quincey has given Jim Dinkins, who on Monday was named as the next North America chief. Mr. Dinkins, who as head of Coke's Minute Maid unit has overseen an expanding portfolio of juices, chilled tea and other beverages, says he'll work to empower staff to "test new ideas and put them into action quickly."

BOTTLING: Coke is divesting from its U.S. bottling operations, with a self-imposed deadline to complete the reorganization by year's end. Analysts will be looking to see to what extent the move to an asset-light model will benefit the company's operating margins.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 24, 2017 08:14 ET (12:14 GMT)